Stephen Ministry is a complete system for training and organizing lay people to provide one-to-one Christian care to hurting people in and around your congregation. Stephen ministers provide confidential, one-on-one Christian care to the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry helps pastors and congregations provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.

The ministry takes its name from St. Stephen, the first of seven deacons called to serve the early formed Christian community. Founded in 1975 in St. Louis, Mo., by Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a Lutheran pastor and clinical psychologist, Stephen Ministry is an international and interdenominational ministry.

Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained care givers whose role is to be present, to listen actively, reflect thoughts and feelings, and to care. They usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as they continue to benefit from the relationship. Everything that happens in these meetings is confidential; even the relationship itself is confidential.

For more information, visit www.stephenministries.org.

To speak with a Stephen Minister here in our parish, please call Larry Bartley (965-7276), Carol Hartlet (783-4036), or contact the parish office.